Pea gravel is an extremely popular choice for surfacing residential driveways due to its attractiveness and affordability.
These small, smooth, and rounded stones feature beautiful natural colors that can work to enhance any landscape.
If you’ve been giving any thought to a pea gravel driveway installation, you may be wondering if you have the ability to do it yourself or if you should hire a professional contractor to handle the job for you.
By taking a few minutes to educate yourself on what is involved with a pea gravel driveway installation you can make a well-informed decision, and have a better idea of what to expect throughout the process.
Pea Gravel Driveway Installation in 4 Steps
1. Measure the Area – You must determine the total area of your driveway by marking out the design of the drive. Be careful to ensure that the width remains consistent throughout the length of the path. Once this has been completed, you will take precise measurements. For a standard driveway, you will need to consider the length and width of the area, and will need to measure the circumference for a round driveway. If you would like a curved driveway, you may need an expert to help you take down proper measurements. Once you have the total area, you can visit a trusted supplier to help you calculate how much stone you will need.
2. Excavate – Now you must begin excavating the soil so that there is a trench between 8-12 inches deep for your driveway. You must be sure that the base is of an even depth throughout, and that all roots or vegetation are cleared away from the site. By hand, this is a very laborious and time-consuming process, so you may need to rent special equipment in order to do so.
3. Lay Down Landscaping Fabric – It’s important that you line the base of your pea gravel driveway with a durable landscaping fabric. This will help promote healthy drainage and will prevent vegetation or root growth from beneath the bottom of the driveway.
4. Apply Layers of Stone and Gravel – Your driveway will actually consist of more than just pea gravel. In order for the drive to be sturdy, and for proper drainage to occur, you should first line the base with a 4 inch layer of large crushed, or “clean” stones. Once this layer has been applied, you may consider adding another 4 inch layer of slightly smaller crushed stones. This will further improve the structural integrity of your home’s driveway. Finally, you will add a 4 inch layer of pea gravel to the top of the driveway. Take care to firmly compact each layer of stone to ensure stability and longevity.
Pea Gravel Driveway Installations: What Else Should I Consider?
While pea gravel driveways are very affordable, you should be mindful of the fact that your cost will vary based upon where you choose to purchase the stones and gravel. If you buy your stone from a large retailer, you can expect that prices will be higher. This is because these retailers don’t manufacture their own stones, but must purchase them.
To get the lowest and most affordable rates, it’s best to buy directly from a manufacturer. When properly executed, a pea gravel driveway installation will serve your needs for years. Never hesitate to seek out professional help if you feel unsure of your ability to install the driveway on your own.